Since late 2015, the small city of Fairlawn, Ohio, has been planning and preparing for a network with next-generation connectivity. The city is building the network, FairlawnGig, which will offer speeds of a Gigabit (1,000 Megabits) per second to subscribers. All speed tiers will be symmetrical, so upload and download will be equally fast.
Lightwave reports that FairlawnGig has officially connected its first two business customers: RDA Hotel Management and the architectural firm David A.Levy & Associates.
Necessary Connectivity For Businesses
RDA Hotel Management officially signed up for the service and immediately experienced a 733 percent increase in Internet access speeds in its local hotel. The management company owns and operates the Hilton and Doubletree hotels throughout the nation. Two of the company's hotels have been connected to the network since early August as “beta customers” of the network. These “beta customers” (including hotels that hosted some Republican National Delegates) helped determine how well the network functioned, providing feedback on how to improve the experience for future subscribers.
The local architectural firm David A. Levy & Associates is also pleased with the new connectivity. Neal Levy, business development director at David A. Levy & Associates described how the municipal fiber network has already improved productivity in the Lightwave article:
"Prior to FairlawnGig, reliability was a serious issue and it took several minutes to save, transmit, and open a 50-MB file. Plus, our team couldn't work simultaneously in an AutoCAD [a design application used by many architect firms] file while it was auto saving or the file would freeze. Now it takes less than 10 seconds to open or save a file."
The FairlawnGig Story
Using both Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and wireless technologies, FairlawnGig will connect residents and businesses in both the city and in the Akron-Fairlawn-Bath Joint Economic Development District. Other communities, which have built similar citywide networks, have electric utilities to handle the daily operations, but not Fairlawn.
Deputy Director of Public Service Ernie Staten described the project in-depth in Episode #201 of the Community Broadband Bits Podcast. To learn even more about FairlawnGig, check out our past coverage here.